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Sweeps of Spa give McLaren and Button top six hope

| 23.08.2013

With seven wins and the fastest car in 2012, many thought McLaren could launch another title challenge this season.

Instead, the 2013 campaign has turned into the team’s worst since 1996, and any hopes of championship success were long extinguished.

The Woking outfit’s best result this year was a fifth place for Jenson Button in China, and the team find themselves languishing in sixth in the Constructor’s standings.

The latest round of tyre alterations coupled to car improvements yielded a competitive performance in the previous round in Hungary however, and Button came home seventh.

Aerodynamically the car is off the pace of the leading teams, but at Spa aerodynamics are of less importance with its long straights and sweeping curves.

Button dominated this event last year to take pole and the win, and with the MP4-28 still boasting the superb Mercedes engine, the 2009 world champion will be confident of mixing it at the sharp end of the grid.

With little value in this market for the top men in the championship, Somerset man Button is well priced at 6/4 for a top six finish in the Ardennes forest, while team-mate Sergio Perez is 10/3.

Force India hold happy memories of Spa, with their only pole position and podium occurring at the circuit in 2009.

After going off the boil in recent races, the team excel in low downforce environments, and they too boast the German grunt of a Mercedes engine.

Adrian Sutil is 4/1 for a top-six finish, something the German has already achieved this year with fifth at Monaco.

Stable mate Paul Di Resta is 9/2, a strong price considering he already has seven points finishes this year with a best of fourth at Bahrain.

With rain always lurking over Spa during a Grand Prix weekend, the unpredictable is never too far around the next bend, and those further down the grid will be looking to take advantage.


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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.